Thursday, May 12, 2011

NIPTDWTT* (Nuthin' In Particular To Do With Toledo Thursday) Post

Although particular Toledoeans my find it of interest.
Bad Brains Live, West Palm Beach 3.20.87

1987 was a strange time for hardcore. Scene stalwarts Black Flag and Minor Threat had disbanded due to a confluence of factors, and the DKs had become a professional punk attraction for tourists. Redd Kross -god bless 'em- had long dropped all hardcore-pretension and were busy rocking out in all the stringy-haired glory we knew they could, while the CBGB's scene in NY evolved into this metal/thrash/skin scene that appeared have more inclusive rules than prison.

Major Labels came calling, and within a few years on either side of the video above, many once raucous, respected, and groundbreaking bands such as Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers and the Bad Brains all politely took their seats at the corporate dinner table. I know, I know; but at the time it seemed like a big deal.

The genius of the Bad Brains is/was they  never set out specifically to be a "hardcore" band, they simply happened to be a group of intensely talented individuals who fully understood and harnessed the passion, speed and power of  hardcore on their own terms, merging it with their existing artistic and occasionally un-PC agenda.  As such, the typical regimented artistic boundaries of the hardcore scene seemingly didn't apply, or at very least the rulebook was open for broad interpretation: Witness here, a non-ironically Cosby-sweatered Dr. Know dispensing chorus-pedal tainted Rasta-Var-Halian licks far more akin to the Sunset Strip axe-shredding sensibilities of the day than the HC pentatonic template hammered out on the stages of the Masque, 9:30 and Freezer Theater. But in their hands, it works.

The Spring Break crowd appears polite enough, but with the exception of a few enlightened individuals, it's clear the Bad Brains energy is lost on the Beach Blanket Bongo audience.

Although pieces of this video have been floating around for years, this is the first time I've ever seen it available in it's entirety.

While we're getting all misty-eyed over post '85 Hardcore, check out Dave Markey's amazing doc of life on the road with Black Flag. The first true hardcore Cali band to put out a record and tour east, BF essentially wrote the HC guidebook in the process. Despite theses accomplishments, BF remained so unsatiated they took said book, scribbled in-between the lines, doodled in the margins, and tore off both covers plotting their future. Right fucking on.
BUMMER! It appears they've pulled the plug on this vid due to copyright restrictions.

"Reality 86'd" A film by David Markey (c) 1991 We Got Power Films. (TRT 01:01:51) A road documentary shot from the inside of the last Black Flag tour ever (the 1986 "In My Head" US tour.) Greg Ginn along with Henry Rollins, Cel Revulta, and Anthony Martinez comprise the final line up of the band. Featuring behind the scenes proceedings and live performances from Black Flag, Painted Willie, and Gone (Ginn's side project, then featuring Sim Cain and Andrew Weiss (later of the Rollins Band) . Filmmaker / musician David Markey was along for the entire trip as the drummer / singer for Painted Willie (with Phil Newman & Vic Makauskas), documenting the six month tour as it happened. Also features roadie Joe ("Planet Joe") Cole, soundmen Davo Claasen and Dave "Ratman" Levine, and the tour manager who kept it all together, Mitch Bury. A crucial turning point in American underground rock. The end of the line for a trail blazing American band.